rule of law

  

Definition

Absolute predominance or supremacy of ordinary law of the land over all citizens, no matter how powerful. First expounded by the UK law Professor A. V. Dicey in his 1885 book 'Introduction To The Study Of Law Of The Constitution,' it is based on three principles that (1) legal duties, and liability to punishment, of all citizens, is determined by the ordinary (regular) law and not by any arbitrary official fiat, government decree, or wide discretionary-powers, (2) disputes between citizens and government officials are to be determined by the ordinary courts applying ordinary law, and the (3) fundamental rights of the citizens (freedom of the person, freedom of association, freedom of speech) are rooted in the natural law, and are not dependent on any abstract constitutional concept, declaration, or guaranty.

Use rule of law in a sentence

  • Even the King of England was subject to the rule of law after he killed a rival in cold blood.

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  • During a tragedy or a natural disaster, it's difficult for the emergency responders to maintain rule of law and protect the public.

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  • In any civilized nation, all the people must be governed by the rule of law, no matter their station in life.

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